About Strawflower: The original strawflower comes from Australia, where it still grows wild as a native species. The first botanical records of the strawflower date back to 1803, with the publication of a work called Jardin de Malmaison. this book, a catalog of the species grown at the Chateau de Malmaison, was completed by French botanist Etienne Pierre Ventenat at the request of Napoleon’s wife Josephine, who had an avid interest in rare plants. Hybrid forms of this flower first became popular in mid 19th century Europe as a result of the horticultural research of expert botanist Herren Ebritsch.
Strawflower Germination: Direct sow seeds in early spring, pressing them into the surface of the soil since they need light to germinate. Keep the soil moist until germination, which usually occurs within 8-10 days. To start indoors, plant several seeds each in peat pots; keep the soil lightly moist and at a temperature of 70-75 degrees F until germination. Transplant the seedlings outdoors after the last chance of frost or when they can safely be handled. This plant adapts well to poor soil.
Growing Strawflower Seeds: This plant tolerates heat and drought well, and will only need watering in extended periods of dry weather. Do not overwater, since this can cause disease. Pinching off the tips of developing plants will encourage branching and produce fuller, bushier plants. Deadhead blossoms to extend the time of blooming. Though an annual, this plant self-seeds readily and will come back the next year if allowed.
Harvesting Strawflower: For fresh flowers, cut long stems of flowers that have just opened and place them in water immediately; strip the leaves that will fall below the water. For long-lasting dried flowers, cut blossoms just before they fully open. Bundle the stems and hang them upside down to dry. For best results in flower arrangements, wire the stems to provide sufficient support.
Saving Strawflower Seeds: As the flowers mature, they will turn a golden tan with a fluffy center; rub the center gently to remove the seeds. Harvest these seeds as soon as they ripen, since birds love to eat them. Store the cleaned seeds in a cool, dry place.
Detailed Strawflower Info: Origin: Australia Other Common Names: Paper Daisy, Everlasting Daisy Duration: Annual Bloom Time: Summer-Late Fall Height: 30-36 inches Spacing: 15-18 inches Light: Full Sun Soil Moisture: Medium to Dry USDA Zone: 3-10 Seeds Per Oz: 2,000 Produces a bushy plant with narrow 5” leaves and papery, full blossoms in varied shades of pink, yellow, red, and white.